Bless those Swedes #3

July 21, 2015

I’ve noted in previous posts that IKEA is often a very nice place for a wargamer to visit, so here’s my third instalment of Bless those Swedes (see here and here for the previous ones).

Recently the photo quality on the blog has deteriorated, mainly due to me not focusing that much on lighting. As I like quality photography as much as the next person, I wanted to do something about this, and the solution was quite simple. I just bought one of these TJENA boxes:


Photo © IKEA

Combined it with a set of these DIODER led strips:


Photo © IKEA

And ended up with this (with an added A4 sheet):

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Now as you can see, the light is fairly yellow in tone, and the brightness isn’t the best possible – which was a bit of a letdown. However, this was easily remedied by using my desktop lamp with a daylight bulb:

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

As a result I can shoot fairly nice pictures using my old pocket camera, spending very little time on colour correction and achieving lovely, even lighting. The shade at the lower edge was caused by the camera itself due to poor positioning.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

The wires are neatly hidden behind the separate bottom plate of the box, and there’s a convenient hole in the back for the power cord. All in all this cost me 25 euros, which isn’t a bad price. If you’re looking for a lightbox on the cheap, this might be a way to go. Of course if you can pick up brighter, whiter led lights, all the better! While the difference in photo quality may not appear to be huge, the amount of time saved in post processing is very significant – a lot of my photos have needed a lot of tweaking in Photoshop to make them presentable.

There you go, a lightbox on the cheap which took all of 15 minutes or so to make. Good enough for me!


  1. Brilliant idea, and very easy to store and set up- Thanks for the tip!

    • Thanks for the comment, Thomas! Glad you liked it.

  2. Very nice sir😀

    • Why thank you very much sir!

  3. Great idea and build dude! It’s off to Ikea then.

    • Thanks! IKEA is nearly always a good call – just make sure you don’t come back with an extra sofa, some blankets and those cheap, small tables “that’ll surely come in handy”.

  4. Oikein näppärän oloinen kokoonpano, pitäisi rakentaa vastaava kun kuvien valotus on minulla aina vähän mitä sattuu.

    • Suosittelen lämpimästi! Pöytälamppuun kannattaa vaan hommata mahdollisimman kirkas, valkoinen valo – noi ledit on tosi keltaiset.

  5. Reblogged this on Sheppard's Crook and commented:
    My wife has made a similar sort of light box for photographing her cake decoration creations but it relies on overhead lights alone. The added permanent lights adds a degree of elegance to the solution. I thought it would be good to share it on my blog as it is the sort of thing I might to come back to in time.

  6. Excellent idea I hope you don’t mind my re-blogging it.

    • Absolutely, feel free! Thanks for the comment.

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